Daily Archives: April 20, 2011

Move over Joy of Sex…it’s the Joy of Cycling!

A most brilliant adaptation:

A bigger version, with details on the poster, is here: The Joy of Cycling.

Kudos to Jamie Wieck for this.

Midweek music: Aloe Blacc – Loving You Is Killing Me

Is it too soon to post another Aloe Blacc video? No I didn’t think so either. 🙂

Not only is Blacc great, but the kid in this video is phenomenal. Super stuff.

YouTube – Aloe Blacc .-. Loving You Is Killing Me ( official video )

Syria and the utter cluelessness of Vogue

This profile of Asma al-Assad, wife of the Syrian dictator, is remarkable. In fact, it’s hard to read it and not think it was written with tongue in cheek! I mean, to read things like:

Asma’s husband, Bashar al-Assad, was elected president in 2000, after the death of his father, Hafez al-Assad, with a startling 97 percent of the vote.

Why yes, 97 percent is startling! Except when you are a dictator, of course, which is what the Assads were and are.

After reading that concoction, head back to reality and  read this:  Syria News – Protests (2011) in the NYTimes.com. Here’s a key passage:

The country’s president is Bashar al-Assad, the son of Hafez al-Assad, who ruled with an iron hand for three decades before his death in 2000. The Assads belonged to the Allawite sect, a minority that came to hold most of the top positions in the government and military. Under Hafez al-Assad, Syria was reviled in the West for its support of terrorist groups and generally isolated even from more moderate Arab countries. Bashar al-Assad from time to time made gestures toward greater openness. But it remained one of the region’s most repressive regimes.

If you want to learn more about the Assads, one place you can start is here: Hama massacre

If you want to learn what life is like for the aristocracy, especially what it is like before the revolutions occur, read Vogue.

How to shop for groceries – some unusual but useful tips

Sounds simple, but after seeing this tip, Use a Binder Clip to Hold Your Grocery List in Your Cart, I thought I’d add some more tips:

  1. Shop along the perimeter first. The deals should be at the end of each aisle, for one thing. For another, the essentials tend to be on the
    perimeter of the store: vegetables, meat, dairy, grain all tend to be there. Those are the things you should be buying the most of for healthiest eating. For another, by the time you get through the permeter, you may be too tired to impulse buy.
  2. Take your own music. Musak in grocery stores will rot your brain. Seriously. Get your own earphones and drown it out. If you find grocery shopping stressful, play relaxing music. If you want to get in and out, play fast music. But listening to bad grocery store music just makes the whole experience worse.
  3. Wear sunglasses. This sound ridiculous I know, but most groceries stores are overly lit and if you are in them enough you might get a headache.
  4. If you go with a child, establish a limit of impulse buys. Same goes for yourself. If the limit is one or two, and you now have three, put one back. For you, try this: don’t put it in your basket, but say “I will come back for it later”. If you really want it, you will. If you are too tired or even forget about it, chances are you didn’t need it.
  5. Don’t shop at eye level. The inexpensive and non-impulse buy food will be lower. You’ll be amazed at what you see down on the bottom shelves.
  6. Pick the best times to shop. If you don’t know, ask the store manager and the manager of the check-out clerks. They should know exactly what the busiest time are. Also, ask them things like: when does new food shipment arrive? when do things go on sale and why? Things like that. 
  7. Practice your deep breathing skills. My grocery store is designed to almost always have lineups. When I get to one, I practice things like improving my posture, deep breathing, what have you. If you are going to be stuck in line and you know it, prepare for it so it is productive and not frustrating.